Music Theory
Acoustic Composition
1 of 2


What do you think of Rameau’s “rules”?

Harmony is the study of multiple notes happening at the same time. There are a nearly limitless variety of combination of notes to create harmony, but the four most commonly occurring chords are the: Major triad, Minor triad, Augmented triad, and Diminished triad. Functional harmony is goal oriented and always occurs inside the context of a tonal center or key. The foundation of all tonal harmony is the major scale.

As we begin to get a better understanding of what music theory is, it’s important to take a second to reflect on the nature of music theory. This is a field that gives names to things that are already in existence. All great composers have a deep understanding of music theory on a practical level, even if they don’t know the definitive terms to describe their understanding. Some composers know music theory from a theoretical knowledge, meaning they know all of the proper terms for the different sounds they’re choosing. Very few composers, if any at all, rely solely on an intellectual understanding of music theory. The only way to truly grasp these concepts is through first hand experimenting and dissection of the music of others.

Composition Assignment

Using your previous composition assignment, write a functional chord progression that is mostly consonant with your melody.